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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  June 11, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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investigation into whether or not someone at the white house is leaking details about america's national security. and back in 2008, president obama told hillary clinton, you're likable enough. well, fast forward four years. polls show president obama is more likable than mitt romney, but does the likable candidate have the advantage? and today is the first day of the trial of jerry sandusky, the former penn state football coach accused of sexually abusing ten boys. then, let me finish with a president who knew the value of not bragging on himself. we begin with the gaffes from both president obama and mitt romney. howard fineman is the editorial director of the "huffington post" media group. david corn is the washington bureau chief for mother jones magazine and the author of the book "showdown." both men, of course are msnbc political analysts. gentlemen, here's what the president said on friday. in context, he was comparing job growth in the private sector to the less rosy picture in the public sector but gave
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republicans a big opportunity to jump on his words. let's watch. >> the truth of the matter is that, as i said, we have created 4.3 million jobs over the last two -- 27 months. over 800,000 just this year alone. the private sector is doing fine. where we are seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government. oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors not getting help at the time in the past for the federal government. >> later in the day the president back tracked. he said the economy was clearly not doing fine but it was too late. the romney camp had already punt a pair of web videos showing the president as out of touch. let's watch. >> we have seen layoffs, cutbacks. >> when it is all said and done
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imi'm making $200 a mom. >> i have-been looking for a job for two years, i haven't found any. >> i had to file my own personal bankruptcy. i had to close my business. >> here i am, no health care and a slashed pension. >> i just lost my job recently. >> i have to work part-time in order to make ends meet. >> sometimes i feel like i'm a failure. >> the private sector is doing fine. the private sector is doing fine. the private sector is doing fine. >> howard fineman, what's shelf life of this kerfuffle? >> oh, i'm not sure exactly what the shelf life is, but boy, it was a gift from the gods for the romney campaign because they have been desperately trying to show or claim that the president is more out of touch than mitt romney in this sort of out-of-touchness race and mitt romney has been leading in that race all year especially with the elevators and the garage and the wealth and that kind of stuff. they want to try to make that point. and another thing, there is a
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guy running the campaign, matt rose, trained in op o, and going around the job fairs getting grainy black and white pictures of people complaining about what's happened to them in the economy. so, this was a perfect thing for them to try to meet the arguing debating points they have been trying to set up all year. >> well, david, it seems to me that in order for it to be effective, the romney campaign has got to convince folks that he actually meant it, he being the president. he meant it when he said it and it wasn't just misspoken words. >> well, that would be nice if they had to do that, but politics is a medium of impressions are. it doesn't have to be accurate for it to work. it just has to resonate with people and right now the economy is not doing well. as howard mentioned, the romney campaign is trying to, you know, get this point across, embed this point in the electorate that obama is out of touch. he doesn't really understand the economy. he doesn't get the economy.
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and so when he says the private sector is doing just fine, that evidence is of them. now, of course, given the full context of the remark it is not really what he meant to say not his intention, it doesn't really show, it was a slipup and a gaffe that's why we call a gaffe. what romney said, which i will assume we will get to in a moment is not a gaffe, but a policy position. but in the above the 30-second hit ads, you don't have to get it right for the ad to sometimes be effective. >> we are gonna get -- you are right. we are going to get to that in just a moment. howard, when i heard what the president had said, i thought it is deja vu all over again to, for many of us. his comments were reminiscent of some unfortunate things john mccain said four years ago in the face of growing economic crisis when he had this to say. >> there's been tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and wall street. and it is -- people are frightened by these events. our economy, i think, still, the
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fundamentals of our economy are strong but these are very, very difficult times. >> howard, compare the two and contrast them. >> well, i think the similarity is that both speakers were trying to make a -- to leverage a point by overstating to some extent something else. the president wanted to point out the fact that there has been a disaster in public employment, in part because of the failure of republicans or refusal of the republicans of pumping more money into state and local governments to pay for police, for fire, for teachers and other government workers. there's been an absolute wipeout in terms of public sector employment. that's the point he wanted to make. but he colored it a little too deep loin the other side in order to jujitsu in that point, if i can mix my metaphors horribly. and john mccain was trying to do the same thing. he wanted to be reassured. he wanted on the one hand to say
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that he understood how deeply troubled we were as a country economically but that we were strong as a nation. and that's republican talking point. and after all, he was coming after two terms of a republican president. he didn't want to completely say the country is a disaster because he was following george bush. >> let's shift the other side of the aisle now, because as david mentioned, last week, as mitt romney was trying to keep the attention on obama's poor choice of words, the republican candidate said something that he, himself, has now raised eyebrows with. let watch. >> he wants another stimulus. he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message in wisconsin? the american people did t is time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> david axelrod and brothers quick to criticize romney. axelrod said romney must be living on a different planet if he thinks we don't need more
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teachers, firefighters andconti this morning. here it s. >> we lost 250,000 teachers the last months as we were gaining these private sector jobs. does anybody really believe that we don't need more teachers is? that we can keep whacking teachers and that we are going to advance as a country? >> david, the mistake here is that the gop playbook says talk about bureaucrats, faceless, nameless bureaucrats. you may or may not talk about teachers. they are in a category all themselves but you certainly don't talk about firefighters or police if the issue are positions you're going to cut. >> well, yeah. the republicans and conservatives for decades now is attacked government but when they attack government, they don't talk about it being sort of nurses in a public hospital or teachers and firefighters, rescue workers, police officers, because they know those are popular positions that people want those things. people in cities want more cops if they are high-crime areas,
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even rural areas. people want more teachers, yet mitt romney went thought and acted as if that is a bad thing, not just to lift employment but a bad thing overall a week or two back, he was in your town, michael, in philly and disputing the need for more teachers to get smaller class sizes. you know, my fifth grader just graduated from elementary school today and i was there i was look agent some of these big classes public school, i'm saying it is pretty on very issious that we could compete better when our educational needs with other nation it is we had more teachers out there, good teachers, of course, but for mitt romney to blow that off. the difference between what he said and what obama said was obama's was a gaffe. this really seemed to indicate what mitt romney is thinking and what he would like to do to this country. >> howard -- howard, i know you gave a 4.5 on the howard fineman richter scale in terms of the president's gaffe. on a one to ten, where would you place this poor word choice for
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mitt romney? >> five for a reason that david said. >> really? >> it was intentional. so i give him extra points for that and also, there were divisions within his own party over it. scott walker -- >> as a matter of fact, i -- allow me to make your point. and you can react to. this the governor of wisconsin, to woman you were just referring, distanced himself from romney's statement on friday. on sunday, walker was asked if romney was right about what he called "the message of wisconsin?" ? he emphasized his state tried to protect firefighters, police officers, teachers. here it is. >> well, do you think governor romney is talking about getting rid of more teachers and firemen? >> no, i think in the end, the big issue is that the private sector still needs more help and the answer's not more big government. i know in my state, our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. that's not what i think when i think of big government. i think of the bigger sense is
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more government regulations, more stimulus, more things that take money out of the private sector and put it in the hands of the government. >> howard that's the clip to which you were referring? what point did you want to make? >> i wanted to make the point that not just the governor but others that i talked to can -- pretty sharp conservative strategists like steven law, who runs american cross roads for karl rove said, look, we have to be very careful on this issue of public employees. if we can go after some lavish pensions from some faceless bureaucrats, great, that's winner for us, but as we learned elsewhere, including in ohio, if it's framed in terms of police, fire and teachers and that's what steve said to me, then we have got to be very careful. we are probably going to end up on the wrong side of that. >> right. >> so if that is, in fact, romney's strategy that he is going to purr sound seems he was pursuing it because they put out their number one surrogate this morning, john sununu on television to double down on the romney line, then it seems like
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something like the rule of holes is when your nee one, stop digging. i'm not sure romney is going to stop digging on this one. >> gentlemen, thank you both. i we shall we had more time for howard fineman and david corn. >> thank you. >> thank you. what does it mean for the white house now that attorney general eric holder is investigating whether top secret national security details were leaked? that's ahead. this is hard ball, the place for politics. stay in the moment sanya focus lolo, focus let's do this i am from baltimore south carolina... bloomington, california... austin, texas... we are all here to represent the country we love this is for everyone back home it's go time. across america, we're all committed to team usa. mcallen, texas. in here, heavy rental equipment in the middle of nowhere, is always headed somewhere. to give it a sense of direction, at&t created
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the notion that mywhite house would purposely release national classified security information is offensive. it's wrong. >> welcome back to "hardball." that of course, was president obama on friday. about seven hours later, attorney general eric holder assigned two u.s. attorneys to look into possible leaks. in the past months, major stories involving national security have given rise to leak questions. one, a report on the u.s. effort to damage iranian nuclear capabilities with a computer virus. two was a report in obama's role selecting terrorist targets for drone attacks. three was a report on an al qaeda bomb pt foiled with the u.s. with the help of a double agent. lou this investigation affect the obama administration and the presidential race? republican congressman dan lundgren of california is on the
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homeland security committee. democratic congressman peter welsh of vermont is on the oversight and government reform committee. gentlemen, in this weekend's "new york times," charlie savage reports that leaking is not illegal. and he wrote, "many people are surprised to learn that there is no law against disclosing classified information in and of itself. "congressman, i am one of those individuals who was surprised to hear this news. what is the law in this regard? >> you don't have a right to declassify information there are strict rules set up for classified information, particularly of the level that we are talking about revealed, if true, in these articles, particularly the one dealing with the effort on cyberattack with iran. so there are criminal laws that can apply, we don't know all the facts involved here. the disturbing thing is if that program went forward as described, if that was true, that was good for this country
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but no good comes of revealing it and revealing facts with respect to it, no more so than when you are talking about something that could reveal a double agent. these are serious issues. these are deadly issues. these are issues that go to the national security interests of the united states and no one should take it lightly. and frankly, i'm pleased that we have two prosecutors that have been named. i'm not a big fan of special prosecutors because i have seen that abuse in the past, but i applaud the attorney general for appointing these two. and frankly, it is their reputation at stake, not the attorney general's as to how they follow the leads in these particular cases. and congressman lundgren, is the suss special -- do you share the suspicion there is perhaps a political motivation to perhaps make the president look strong with regard to the war onner to terror? >> as someone who has investigated criminal cases in the past, you have to look at what the evidence is. that that appears, at least in public, can lead to no other
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conclusion than this helped in a political way the president of the united states. that doesn't mean the president was involved but there's no reason for someone to reveal it. it doesn't help our interest. it hurts our interest. it harms people involved it makes us less secure rather than most secure. one of the things most troubling, if you read those reports, they suggest they had multiple sources and if you read the level of detail that's involved, these facts, if they are, in fact facts, would suggest that you had to have some people at the highest level to either initiate that information or to confirm it. that's what's very troubling, as far as i'm concerned. >> congressman welsh, i guess if i'm reading the tea leaves from a distance, i say the president doesn't need help in this regard. in other words, his record, relative to the war on terror, successful mission to kill osama bin laden, the increase of the drone attacks, the willingness to go into pakistan despite the sovereign status of that
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country, it's illogical to me someone acting on his behalf would have to trump up his muscles in that regard. what are your thought you >> exactly right. i half agree with dan, the president agrees with dan and the point is that you cannot be leaking classified information. that's number one. number two, this president has been extremely aggressive out, chagrin of many democrats, he has initiated six prosecutions for los angeles. all the presidents who proceeded him only did three. and then the third thing, this really goes to the point you just made. senator mccain is calling for a censure or, i guess a resolution in the senate. basically, that's to divert attention from the fact that the foreign policy has been very address snift obama administration. iraq, we have brought our troops home, afghanistan, they are coming home. osama bin laden has been taken out. and of course, the president has an aggressive policy in the use of drones. so if you can't criticize the policy, make something up that's
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diversion. >> congressman lungren, senator john mccain commented on the possible source of the national security leaks. here's what he said. >> it's obvious on its face that this information came from individuals who are in the administration. the president may not have done it himself but the president is certainly responsible, as commander in chief. >> and then this morning, obama campaign senior adviser david axelrod pushed back. he said the following. >> well, i don't know where they came from, charlie. >> was it the white house? >> absolutely not. the last thing he would want, the last thing anyone in the white house wants, is to do anything that would jeopardize those missions or jeopardize those americans. so, he is as outraged about it as anybody. >> so congressman lungren, what are the poll thoisks? might the investigation that's about to take place cool this situation, politically speaking, or can you see it inflaming it?
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>> well, look, this is probably not the answer you want, but i frankly don't care about the politics, i care about the actual facts, the substance of what's happened. this has hurt the national security interests of the united states. now, either "the new york times" was like when they say the kinds of things they put in there were -- they received from people in government and had it confirmed by people in government or, in fact, they are telling the truth. if you look at the level of detail, if you look at the decision making that is articulated in here, described in here it has to come not just from midlevel officials but from higher up officials. that's what's so concerning to me. politically, you luke at it and say why would someone do this? it doesn't advance the interest of the united states. it does make a more personal political positive for the president. so i'm not saying the president did it, but somebody did it for a some reason. they didn't just seek out "the
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new york times" or someone else to let them know for no reason whatsoever. i presume there was some motivation involved. i happen to think that is the grossest kind of political nonsense that harms this nation and we ought to get the bottom of it. i don't care how high it is. we ought to find out who it is and they ought to be punished because this does, in my judgment, risk lives of americans and particularly risks lives of those who assist americans around the world. it is going to put a negative impact on those who wish to help united states or would wish to help united states if they don't think we can keep our mouths shut. it is that simple. >> congressman welsh, please take 30 seconds for a quick response and then we are out of time. >> well, the president agrees. i mean, he is adamantly opposed to any leaking of classified information. he said ex-police is sitly that can jeopardize operations i and national security and jeopardized safety. he is on the job there the attorney general has two crack assistant u.s. attorneys to --
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or u.s. attorneys to do this. so there's agreement there where it goes off the rails is when you get into this motivational speculation that is obviously self-serving and where you're saying that the president or somebody on his behalf did it to bolster a reputation that actually doesn't, on foreign policy, need bolstering. >> thank you both. thank you, congressman dan lungren and congressman peter welsh, we appreciate your time. >> thank you. i mentioned at the top of the show that chris is out at mount rushmore, he is doing a promotional shoot for msnbc and we have got some pictures of him there beneath the heads of washington, jefferson, teddy roosevelt and lincoln. he will be back here hosting "hardball" tomorrow night. and we will be right back.
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mitt romney doesn't have the best of luck when it comes to accepting treats on the campaign tray. you remember when he inadvertently insulted a small bakery owner and 7-11 during a small event in pennsylvania? >> not sure about these cookies. they don't look like you made them. did you make those cookies? you didn't, did you? they came from the local -- >> bakery. >> 7-11, bakery, wherever. >> the bakery owner behind those cookies was less-than-pleased. here is what happened when romney asked an aide to grab snacks for the road at an event in iowa on friday. >> derek, would you see that one of those chocolate -- chocolate goodies finds its way to our -- i will be doing testing on one right there. >> when was the last time that you heard the d word, doughnut, referred to as a chocolate goody? it is right up there with romney being surprised that a guy who is seven feet tall was not "in sport," sport as in basketball.
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and now for some veep watch news, republicans came as close as they will ever get casting a ballot specifically for a vice presidential candidate. friday marked the vice presidential straw poll at c pac in chicago. the top three contenders, marco rubio in first with 30% of the votes followed by chris christie with 14 and paul ryan with 9%. noticeably absent from the top of the list, ohio senator rob portman. now, a lot of folks think that he is the guy we are going to see on the tick wet romney. mike huckabee also didn't rack up support but apparently, he is not anticipating a call from team romney. >> i have not been asked. i think there's a greater likelihood i will be ask by madonna to go on tour as her bass player than i will be picked to be on the ticket. >> that wasn't totally out of left field. huckabee has been known to show up at political events with his guitar in tow. finally, move over ronald reagan and george herbert walker bush as well, for that matter. last week, former florida
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governor jeb bush said that even though 2012 might have been his opportunity to run for president, his willingness to compromise on issues like revenue increases could have been a deal breaker for the gop base. well, today, he went back another generation while speaking with reporters in manhattan. "ronald reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad, they would have had a hard time if you define the republican party as having an orthodoxy that doesn't allow for disagreement, doesn't allow for finding some common ground. back to my dad's time and ronald reagan's time, they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support." we all saw the 2012 republican candidates make a big show of invoking reagan throughout the primary season but were they kidding? if reagan had been a contend they are time around, according to jeb, we have been drummed out early on. up next, is president obama's likeability enough to overcome the struggling economy? that's ahead.
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open a fidelity cash management account today and discover another reason serious investors are choosing fidelity. i'm sue herera with your cnbc market wrap. the dow slides 143 points late in the session. the s & p falls 17 and the nasdaq loses 49. an aid package for spain's banks sparks protest there and does little to reassure u.s. investors, sending stocks into a skid. apple shares sank 1.5% after new offerings unveil ted world developers a conference failed to impress. and gas prices are down once again, according to the lund berg survey. they are off 15 cents a gallon over the past three weeks. and that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. and now back to "hardball."
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he is very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad. >> you are likable enough, hillary, no doubt about it. >> thank you. >> that was hillary clinton and then-candidate barack obama in the 2008 new hampshire debate. hillary proved herself to be likable enough. she won the state and resurrected her campaign. obama took the hit for what many thought was a patronizing dismissal of her but candidate obama remained very likeable and the goodwill holding throughout the first term k it carry him to re-election amid a challenging political and economic climate? cynthia tucker is a visiting professor at the university of georgia and syndicated columnist, alex burns is a national political reporter for politico. ladies, here are the numbers.
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according to the latest nbc news/wall street poll, president obama's personal favorability rating is eight points higher than his unfavorable but his job approval numbers are much closer, at 48-46 that is a statistical high. cynthia, what's the story behind those numbers? >> well, i think it's pretty clear. the economy is still not in great shape. and that has been dragging down the president's job approval rating for some time now. the good news for him, it isn't as bad as it might have been. having said that, it is clear people still like the president very much. now you that, certainly doesn't apply hard core republicans, who hate him. but many americans like the american. he's a good guy. he is a good father, a good husband. he projects warmth on the campaign trail. and so that has helped him i
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think some. >> alex, you wrote about this for politico, i think cynthia is right in terms of characterizing what drives the personal favorability numbers. the question is it enough? you know it presents that old beer question, many people think we select presidents based on with whom would you rather have a beer. if that is the decision in this case it will be to the benefit of the president. >> it sure will michael. and this goes to the heart of the big interpretive debates between republican and democratic pollsters in this election, if you go to the democratic side, the president's team, they will say these gave built numbers show there is still a level of trust, of residual affection from the president from 2008 that people are willing to basically give him the benefit of the doubt on most big issues. the way republicans interpret those numbers cynthia was talk about you are sort of seeing americans give themselves permission to vote against a president that they like, that you are seeing people say to pollsters, i like the guy, he's good father, seems like he would be a good neighbor, trustworthy guy, cares about people like me,
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but he is not up to the job. and the truth is i don't think we really know which one of those interpretations really hits the nail on the head at this stage in the campaign. >> alex, i am a knucklehead. i changed your gender 'cause i didn't have a monitor and i apologized to you. maybe it is for the better. who knows. >> it happens. >> mitt romney's gave bill sit four points below his unfavorable number, a quarter of the nation still making up their minds. cynthia, same question, go behind that data what is going on with regard to the romney numbers. is it because he was beat up all during primary season? >> that certainly has something to do with it, but it is also true that mitt romney is a greeky, awkward candidate on the campaign tray. he doesn't project personal warmth. doesn't seem the kind of guy you want to sit down and have the beer with. so, that hurts him, too. and the fact that so many voters have not yet decided whether they like romney, they don't know enough about him yet helps
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explain why the obama campaign is getting out there early and often, trying to define him. one of their strategies define mitt romney negatively before he has a chance to define himself. define him as a guy who doesn't relate to average folks. define him as a guy who doesn't even treat his dog very well. define him as a guy who is building another huge house with an elevator for his cars in it. so, that's one of the things that the obama campaign is focusing on. if people don't yet know what to make of him, let's tell them he is not a good guy. >> you know, alex, there is a school of thought out there that stays is all an i recall van circumstance meaning the numbers on the romney side of the equation, that in the end this race will be a referendum on the president. pure and simple what do you make of that? >> well, i think that's certainly the hope among american republicans and michael, i think you have seen romney keep a very low file
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schedule, a couple public events a week since he won the republican nomination, a lot of that is about just sort of letting the president sink on his own with the bad economic numbers. but as we get into the fall, particularly as we get into the conventions and the presidential debates, you know, americans are going to see these two guys right next to each other and i do think it has to be trouble some to some degree for republicans that romney came out of the primary with a very high unfavorable numbers that he did. you have seen those numbers come back to a more manageable area as conservatives come around to supporting him but still, a little bit too high for comfort. >> hey, thank you both, cynthia tucker and alexander burns, we appreciate you being here. >> thank you. up next, we will get a report on day one of the trial of jerry sandusky, the former penn state football coach accused of sexually abusing ten young boys. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] if you think any battery will do...
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imagine you with less pain. cymbalta can help. go to to learn about a free trial offer. we are back. the trial began this morning for former penn state assistant football coach jerry sandusky, who faces more than 50 criminal counts of sexual abuse against ten boys during a 15-year span, charges that sandusky has denied. just a warning to our viewers, some of the testimony today was disturbing. the first witness called by the prosecution, now an adult, described repeated alleged incident of fondling and oral sex when he was a teenager involved in sandusky's second mile program. for the latest on this case, let me bring in nbc's michaels i coug -- michael isikoff, covering the trial from pennsylvania what is the take away from day one? >> reporter: pretty gripping testimony. we had victim four, always
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believed to be one of the strongest witnesses right off the bat, describing over 40 acts of sexual contact between him and sandusky, starting from when he was a small little kid, barely in his teens and continuing for years, often in the shower, the sauna. sandusky attempting to use horsing around as sort of foreplay for schedule contacts. and it was -- it was pretty, pretty eye-popping testimony. the young man who testified seemed very straightforward, almost matter of fact on it -- about it. and then when joe amendola, sandusky's lawyer, trying to cross-examine him, he got very testy, very combative, might have lost a few points there by being that sort of combative. but amendola really didn't nick him, asked him a few questions that seemed to indicate he might have some blockbuster piece of
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information that could undermine the witness's credibility, but he didn't really have it. >> michael, you're reporting that more charges could be possible against penn state officials. the word humane pops up in some e-mails come you give us the cliff's note version of that? >> reporter: yeah, this is the -- this maybe the largest story in this case. prosecutors recently got hold of a cache of e-mails and documents from 2001, discussing that mike mcqueary allegation about having seen sandusky in the shower with a young boy. and you know, the officials, carly schultz and graham spanier, the former president testified they didn't view it as that serious they can viewed it as horsing around. in fact, these e-mails showed they took it very seriously, they debated whether they needed to report it to local authorities. and one e-mail exchange, the officials agreed it would be
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humane to sandusky not to report this allegation to local authorities. it never gets reported. and according to prosecutors, sandusky's abuse of kids continued for another seven years. >> michael, thank you for your report. we appreciate it very much. >> reporter: thank you. >> kathleen cain is the democratic candidate for pennsylvania attorney general. she is last former sex crimes prosecutor. kathleen, there are ten alleged victims, as you know, eight of them are known, two of them run known, one of the two is the alleged victim in the mike mcqueary incident, for lack of a better description. as you know, the defense opening statement today spent a lot of time beating up on mike mcqueary. i want to ask you, with yourexpt make sense for the prosecution to have dropped that case and instead proceed with nine and take off the table the baggage that mcqueary perhaps will bring to this trial? >> no, i don't think it makes
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sense to do that. i would have kept all of the cases and all of the victims for this reason, because the defense is starting to make the case that all of the victims got together and created this mass conspiracy to come up with a virtual lies against jerry sandusky, all to file civil suits. mike mcqueer very an independent witness who saw these sexual contact and sexual abilities taking place in the shower. the fact that he is there and able and willing to testify that he saw these events occur, independent of any of the other witnesses' testimony, even without victim number two goes to the credibility of the witness and to the prosecution's case and also diminishes the defense's argument that is this mass conspiracy against jerry sandusky. >> okay. another question for you. i think very apropos for you, given your knowledge of the state and the political dynamics
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here. at the end of the defense opening statement, joe amendola talked and raised questions about why wasn't sandusky wasn' sandusky arrested in '08, '09, 2012, et cetera. i thought he was weaving together a political argument and pointing a finger without naming the current governor, the then attorney general of pennsylvania. is that how you interpreted that portion of the opening statement? >> yes. that's exactly what it sounds like. i believe what the defense attorney is trying to do is to say to the jurors, don't look at what sandusky did. don't look at the facts against sandusky. we want you to look over here. we want to give you an extraneous argument so we're taking your attention off all the facts and evidence that goes to the guilt of mr. sandusky. what they're trying to do is create almost a side show. that sometimes happens in criminal cases. and it sounds like that's what they're going for here. >> the testimony of one of the ten alleged victims is now
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concluded. he's put on his direct testimony and he's been cross examined. it also comes evident, kathleen cain, that the defense is going to drill on the fact these young men continued with their relationship with jerry sandusky as if to challenge their credibility because they were on friendly trms. given your background in prosecuting these sexual predator cases, is it unusual you would find a victim maintaining some decorum of relationship with a perpetrator? >> it is not unusual at all. the way the perpetrator gained their victims was by gaining their trust. they'd give them things. they make the victims believe they can't survive without the perpetrator even though they're getting these heinous acts convicted against them. it's hard to get out of that bubble and to feel safe with anyone else. and don't forget. nine times out of ten, child
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sexual assault victims know and trust and love their -- the perpetrators or the predators. that is a hard thing for them to overcome. >> we have just -- >> go ahead. >> we have just 30 seconds left. do i need to eat crow? i was predicting that this case would end in a plea where trial has now begun, it appears we're headed to verdict. >> i wouldn't eat crow just yet. i believe at any point as long as the prosecution agrees to it -- at any point there could be a guilty plea. at some point they have to have the jury seated and the witnesses testimony before they decide to plead guilty. i wouldn't do it just yet. >> well, amendola made it hazy as to whether sandusky would testify in his own defense. i could never see him doing so after the bob costas interview. thank you very much. when we return, let me
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finish with a birthday tribute to a president. you're watching hard ball, the place for politics. n't stop for three days and nights as he escaped life as a child soldier. twenty years later, he was still running, he just had a different thing driving him. every step of the way. ♪ visa. supporting athletes and the olympic games for 25 years. join our global cheer. more than 50 times a day? so brighten your smile a healthy way with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only rinse that makes your teeth two shades whiter and two times stronger. ♪ listerine® whitening... power to your mouth.
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tomorrow is president george herbert walker bush's 88th birthday. first my bias. in college i had the amazing experience of traveling across the country and globe doing the work for the vice president. in his term as president, i was
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appointee to a sub level cabinet position in his administration. now the facts. when he ran for the presidency in 1980, his slogan was a president we don't have to train. that was a reflection of by that point in his career, he'd already been a war hero, envoy to china, and head of the cia. history will record him as the man who signed into law the americans with disabilities act who did raise taxes, who instituted a ban on assault rifles and renounced his membership in the nra. he signed with gorbachev. drove saddam hussein out of kuwait. when he ran and won in 1988, he offered six words that would haunt him four years later. funny thing he would later form a close personal bond with the man who beat him, bill clinton. i admire much about george
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herbert walker bush. let me give an example. when he left the white house, he did not write the memoir. instead this traditionalist having been raised in a year of letter writing and not texting decided to assemble his life in correspondence. letters written to him and by him were put together chronologically. and those became the record of his life titled "all the best." they offer a portrait of the man. here's a sampling. september 2nd, 1944, his plane was shot down. it was rescued by the uss finback. he wrote dear mother and dad, this will be the first letter you've gotten from me in a good long while. i wish i could tell you that as i wrote this i'm feeling well and happy. physically i'm okay, but i'm troubled inside and with good cause. he then proceeded to tell his parents what had happened on what he dcribed as a bombing happen including the loss of two colleague es. bush was able to bail from the
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burning airplane and while parachuting towards sea saw the smoldering craft hit the water. other lines there, i'm afraid i was pretty much a sissy about it. i sobbed awhile. my heart aches for the families of the two boys with me. and it was funny how much i thought about bar during the whole experience. much much love to you all, your ever devoted son pop. george bush had enlisted on his 18th birthday. he postponed his college education so he could serve his country and was for awhile the youngest aviator. there will be a 90 minute documentary celebrating his life aptly named 41. it's nice to see him receiving accolades while he's with us. too often we offer praise only in eulogies. as we would say here in chris' hometown, george herbert walker
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bush is good people. he was a president we didn't have to train. happy birthday, mr. president. that's "hardball" for now. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. welcome to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton. tonight, what kind of country do we want to be? do we want a country that celebrates the people who put out our fires, respond to our emergencies, and teach our children? or do we want a country that minimizes their service? takes away their jobs. that's at the core of what this election is all about. mitt romney made it clear which side he stood on when he criticized president obama for supporting firefighters and teachers and first responders. >> he wants another stimulus. he wants to hire more government workers. he says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. it's time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> today


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